Many parents who have gone through a divorce or separation face ongoing conflict with the other parent. When that conflict escalates to the point that it impacts your child's safety, it may be appropriate to ask the Court for a change in custody, or for certain restrictions on Parenting Time.
However, often the conflict is over smaller, but still frustrating issues, such how to interpret the decree's language about parenting time for the holidays, who is in charge of picking extracurricular activities, what items get sent back and forth, and et cetera. Sometimes, hostility between the parents means that they are simply unable to communicate effectively at all about their children. A Court is usually not able to handle ongoing conflict and implementation of a court order n an effective and timely manner, but the conflict is nevertheless extremely frustrating to one or both parents, and can itself harm the child.
A Parent Coordinator (PC) is a trained professional who is appointed by the court in a paternity or divorce case to assist separated or divorced parents in resolving ongoing parenting conflicts and to develop a plan for effective co-parenting. A PC helps parents work together to make decisions based on the best interests of their children by facilitating respectful communication, interest-focused negotiation, and ultimately, agreement between the parents. If agreement is impossible, the PC is often empowered to issue a binding recommendation, thereby quickly, efficiently and effectively resolving the issue and alleviating stress from both parents. A PC can address issues such as: transportation, schedules, make-up time, opportunity for additional parenting time, educational issues, mental and physical health issues, and many others.
Stafford Law Office's associate attorney, Kara Reagan, participated in the PC training provided by Seminars for Advanced Interdisciplinary Professionals in 2009, and is currently accepting PC clients. If you are interested in exploring whether a PC is right for you, we suggest that you discuss that with your attorney if you are represented. If you are unrepresented, you may call us for more information.